|Poster:||dead-head_Monte||Date:||Jul 4, 2011 10:28am|
|Forum:||GratefulDead||Subject:||Re: Happy July 4|
Foxconn, best known as a supplier of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, had a huge explosion rock thier Chengdu (China) manufacturing facility on May 20, 2011. Local reports said the explosion occurred in the building where Foxconn keeps Apple's iPad 2 production line. The explosion is understood to have hit the polishing plant, which is at the end of the assembly process. Foxconn representatives have confirmed three deaths and 16 injuries from the incident. Many of the injuries were reported as serious.
The $2bn (£1.2bn) laptop-producing plant where the explosion took place opened in October (2010). According to Chinese reports, police in Chengdu said their preliminary conclusion was that the explosion wasn’t caused intentionally. Foxconn has already come under pressure in the past 18 months, after more than 13 factory workers committed suicide. Critics say the company’s employees are subjected to harsh working conditions, long hours and low pay.
Foxconn is the world's largest maker of computer components and produces items for Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Nokia. It employs about 1 million people in China, about half of them based in its main facility in the southern city of Shenzhen. Foxconn has been expanding its workforce into other parts of China as it seeks to scale back the size of its Shenzhen plant.
I, Monte Barry, am 60 years old. I taped the Grateful Dead numerous times in 1973, beginning on June 9 and 10, at RFK Stadium. The Grateful Dead used Ampex audio tape decks dozens of times to record their SBDs, albums, and other commercial releases. I also taped many other bands in the mid-1970s. I worked 3 years as a soundman through 1976. Then I worked for Ampex for 6 years, beginning in 1979. Ampex invented the videotape recorder in 1955. During the period 1957 - 1990, Ampex has been awarded eleven Emmy Awards for Technical Excellence.
Alembic developed and produced much of the equipment that was used by the Grateful Dead for their famous "wall of sound" PA System, in 1973 and 1974. Ron Wickersham, one of Alembic's founders, worked previously as an audio engineer for Ampex. Alembic is best known for making fine modern guitars and basses.
I've worked over 30 years in electronics.
Ampex never had any explosions in their main Audio-Video Systems Division factory in Colorado Springs. Ampex workers were not getting killed there on the job. This plant operated in Colorado for many years during the '70s, '80s, and '90s. I worked there for 3 years; and 3 years Ampex field service engineer in the NYC area. Ampex workers were not severely stressed out and subjected to harsh working conditions. In fact, no Ampex workers ever committed suicide due to these reasons.
Alembic never had any explosions in their main facility. Alembic workers are not getting killed there on the job, nor have I ever heard of any of them committing suicide due to being subjected to harsh working conditions.
|Poster:||dead-head_Monte||Date:||Jul 5, 2011 8:46am|
|Forum:||GratefulDead||Subject:||Re: Steve Jobs says, "Blow Me - Americans are Losers!"|
Apple did it again, reporting record revenue and profits for the company's first fiscal quarter of 2011, backed by record Mac, iPhone, and iPad sales. Apple reported profits of $6 billion on revenue of $26.74 billion. Apple's profits increased by 78 percent compared to the same period last year, and the company's revenues by 70.5 percent. Analysts were expecting revenue of $24.38 billion.
SHANGHAI, China — An explosion that killed three workers and injured 15 others last week at a Chinese factory that supplies products to Apple was caused by combustible dust, according to a preliminary investigation by the local authorities.
The explosion, which occurred Friday, May 20, 2011, in the southwestern city of Chengdu, led to the partial shutdown of a plant operated by Foxconn, one of the world’s biggest contract electronics makers and a major supplier to companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony and Apple.
The shutdown created worries about supply disruptions for some Apple products, including the iPad, which experts say was being produced at the Chengdu plant. The aftermath of the explosion is also the latest problem facing Foxconn, which last year experienced a rash of worker suicides at several of its Chinese facilities.
Apple and Foxconn, a division of the Hon Hai Group of Taiwan, issued statements after the explosion last Friday saying that they regretted the tragic accident and that the cause of the blast was under investigation. City officials in Chengdu said the explosion had been caused by combustible dust in an air duct at a polishing workshop. Foxconn is one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, and the Chengdu complex is a relatively new factory, with 80,000 employees.
Foxconn has been moving aggressively over the last year to expand its operations in central and western China to keep up with production demands and to recruit more workers from the poorer inland provinces.
Apple has a longstanding relationship with Foxconn, which struggled last year to cope with a rash of worker suicides. Some labor rights groups say they believe the suicides were the result of harsh working conditions at Foxconn.
Foxconn, however, insists it treats its workers well. After the suicides, it hired counselors and installed large nets on some buildings to prevent suicides.
Last year, Apple said its audits found that nine supplier factories in China had hired workers below the age of 16, the legal working age, and that other plants had falsified audit materials and even coached workers on how to respond to questions from auditors. Apple also said in its report that at a supplier factory in the city of Suzhou, 137 workers were exposed last year to the toxic chemical n-hexane, causing adverse health effects.
The Apple “Supplier Responsibility Report,” however, did not specifically name Foxconn for labor violations.
Some labor rights activists say Foxconn’s working conditions are poor and that Apple and Foxconn have failed to address complaints by workers.
On Monday, a Hong Kong-based labor rights group called Students and & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior said that it had noted a problem with “aluminum dust” in Foxconn’s Chengdu plant last March, when it issued a report on the company’s working conditions there.
The group said workers at the Chengdu factory had complained this year that “the ventilation of the department is poor. Workers polish the iPad cases to make them shiny. In the process, there is lots of aluminum dust floating in the air. Workers always breathe in aluminum dust even though they put on masks. When workers take off their cotton gloves, their hands are covered with aluminum dust.”
After the statement was released by the group, Foxconn issued its own statement saying it was “unfortunate” that the Hong Kong group was seeking to “capitalize on the tragic accident” with a statement that misrepresented “Foxconn’s commitment to the health and safety of our employees.”
ABC News - by Clarissa Ward - June 7, 2010 - SHENZHEN, China — And now Foxconn announced a whopping 70 percent pay rise after a spate of worker suicides raised questions about working conditions at the factory and threatened to harm the company's reputation.
Starting October 1, 2010, the salary of its assembly workers will increase to 2,000 yuan ($290) a month, compared to 900 yuan ($130) last month and 1,200 yuan ($175) following the first increase announced this month. It's the second pay hike announced in the past two weeks and is designed to offset criticism of the low salaries of its Chinese workers, which labor activists claim gave them no choice but to work more and more overtime.
Labor activists in neighboring Hong Kong have criticized what they call poor conditions and military-style discipline with long shifts, few breaks and fast assembly lines.
Foxconn employs thousands of young migrant workers between the ages of 18 and 25, many of whom come from rural areas to live and work on the company complex.
Taiwanese company Hon Hai is the parent company for Foxconn. It made billions of dollars in profit last year and is considered to be extremely secretive. One factory worker told ABC News his average wage was $140 per month.
Hon Hai is possibly the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer and employs 800,000 people in China who churn out products for Apple, Nokia, Dell, Sony and Nintendo.
|Poster:||dead-head_Monte||Date:||Jul 6, 2011 10:13am|
|Forum:||GratefulDead||Subject:||Re: Steve Jobs says, 'Blow Me America. Torturing Workers is GOOD!"|
Steve Jobs believes that "American Workers are a bunch of whiners and losers! I hate American Workers! Americans want to get paid a living wage. Blow Me! That's Apple's Money, AND, that's MY MONEY! I love to Torture Apple Workers in China. Apple runs huge Concentration Camps in China. Apple operates The World's cruelest torture chambers. I'm a Billionaire now!"
By Royston Chan
SUZHOU, China | Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:45am EST
(Reuters) - Chinese workers at a factory making touch screens on contract for Apple have urged the U.S. company to help address their grievances over a chemical poisoning they said could still harm their health.
Wintek, the Taiwanese company that owns the factory in east China's Suzhou industrial park, has said it used hexyl hydride, also called n-hexane, from May 2008 to August 2009, but stopped after discovering it was making workers ill.
"This is a killer, a killer that strikes invisibly," said a Chinese-language copy of the letter meant for Apple CEO Steve Jobs that workers showed Reuters. An English version had been sent to Apple.
"From when hexyl hydride was used, monthly profits at Apple and Wintek have gone up by tens of millions every month, the accumulated outcome of workers' lives and health," said the letter, signed by five workers claiming to represent employees.
Wintek said it had used the chemical, which evaporates faster than alcohol, to speed up production of touch screens for Apple products. It has since gone back to using alcohol.
Apple, which announced blockbuster profits in January, has been dogged by criticism of work conditions at its China-based suppliers.
Last year, its main China supplier Foxconn was hit by over a dozen apparent worker suicides that critics blamed on harsh factory conditions.
The poisonings were mentioned in a recent report from Apple,
which sources many of its strong-selling iPhones, iPads and other devices to contract manufacturers in China. That report said 137 workers had been hospitalised because of poisoning but had all recovered, a conclusion also offered by Wintek.
Apple declined to comment on the workers' letter and referred a reporter back to its supplier report.
But some of the workers at Wintek's sprawling plant in Suzhou said the Taiwanese factory-owner had not given enough compensation to affected workers, had pressured those who took compensation to give up their jobs, and had not offered assurances that workers who may suffer fresh bouts of illness from the poisoning will have medical bills take care of.
"I hope Apple can respect our labor and our dignity. I hope they can stand up and apologize to us," said Jia Jingchuan, a 27-year-old production technician for Wintek who said he fell ill from the hexyl hydride, which workers said was used to clean iPhone touch screens.
NUMB HANDS, SWOLLEN FEET
Wintek spokesman Jay Huang told Reuters that all staff who needed medical treatment because of the n-hexane poisoning had been treated, and that the company has reverted to using alcohol to clean the panels that it manufactures for Apple.
"We are unable to cope with the medical costs of treatment in the future," said Guo Ruiqiang, a worker at the Wintek plant, who said he was suffering fresh symptoms he blamed on the poisoning. "We can only stay in the factory and see what happens. We just feel very helpless now," said Guo.
He and other workers said the poisoning caused sweaty hands and feet, sudden numbness in hands, swelling and pain in the feet, tiredness and faintness.
Daily exposure to hexyl hydrid can cause long-term and possibly irreversible nerve damage, said Lam Ching-wan, a chemical pathologist at the University of Hong Kong. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, there have been dozens of documented cases where workers suffered nerve and eye damage from exposure to n-hexane.
Workers said they wore protective gear, including masks and goggles, but worked in an enclosed, poorly ventilated space. In its report, Apple said that Wintek had switched to the chemical from alcohol without changing the ventilation system.
Jia, the technician, said that after working for a year on the production for Apple touch screens, he felt there was something wrong, but ignored the problems, blaming them on work stress or moodiness.
Soon he heard other workers were hospitalised and suspected it had something to do with the chemical hexyl hydride, which managers had said could be safely used.
Jia went to a hospital in Suzhou in August 2009, when doctors told him he had nerve damage. Doctors soon found many of his workmates had similar problems and were advised to be hospitalised.
He stayed for eight months in hospital. But when he returned to work in October 2010, the symptoms of poisoning reappeared, he said.
(Additional reporting by Kelvin Soh, Ee Lyn Tan, and Chris Buckley; editing by Don Durfee and Jonathan Thatcher)